If there was anyone left to speak to, I expect at some point I would be asked the question.
“What was the world like before it died?”
Alas, there is no-one.
I have tried to keep a time line in my head, hopeful that I will be able to note this down somewhere. While I am alone in this dead world for now, I have only explored a small portion of it. There must be other survivors. It stands to reason that I cannot be the only one.
That little glimmer of hope keeps me going when things are at their bleakest.
There was a book I read once, many years ago. At least I think I have read it, my memory is not what it was. In this book, history was kept alive by it being turned into stories. People would dedicate themselves to remember specific stories and they would speak them out loud to the others. Teaching the stories to the young, passing on the torch.
I may not have anyone to tell my story to but one day I will. I am sure of this.
So every day, I rise and walk out of my destroyed house into the park that surrounds it. The swings are just chains now, swinging in the soft warm breeze that has become the norm. I sit on the park bench where my grandparents met and talk to the emptiness.
When it happened, I had been ill. Laid up in bed for what seemed like weeks but in reality was no more than a matter of days. My strength was fading and I was surrounded by my friends and family. This was the end.
Then One morning I woke up and I was fine. No, better than fine, I was fighting fit. My visitors were happy and we spent the rest of the day calling around passing on the good news. There was a feeling of inner peace as the sun began to set, everything was going to be ok.
It was my wife that went first, slowly fading away to shadow in front of my eyes. Panicking I screamed out but there was no sound. The building was crumbling around me, going from a solid structure to ruins. All around me, the people I loved were disappearing into blackness and then they were gone forever. In my weakest moments, I console myself with the fact that none of them seemed to be in any pain as they went.
Within minutes, I was alone. Something had happened and I had somehow survived it.
The first few days were spent looking for others like me. Crawling through the wreckage of my neighbourhood, hoping to find another and returning to my bed at night, broken by my failure.
Sometimes I would see faint shimmers of what looked like people. As I ran towards them they would blink out. Time and Time again this happened. Occasionally I would hear indistinct voices, but they seemed to be coming from behind walls that once investigated, revealed nothing.
I was alone.
Alone and with no idea of what had happened to the world. No idea why I was still here.
Now I am sure that some people would have spent some time in mourning for the life that they had lost. Then girding their loins, they would go and adventure far and wide. I am not that kind of person. I do believe that there are others out there but I decided quite some time ago that I could not go far from where I had lived.
From where I do live.
They would surely come to me, I just had to be patient.
So here I am.
I kneel and place my hands together
“Dear Gods of music.
I’ve had a bad day
I need some music to soothe my tattered soul
However I need something specific
You see I love the Manics
Yet there is something uplifting about J-Pop
Any chance that the two could be combined in some way?”
A deep booming voice finally replies
“Here you go. Enjoy”